President Metsola emphasizes the responsibility of the Union to remain united and avoid further violence. The European Parliament condemns Hamas and advocates for sustainable peace. Support for Ukraine and addressing budget priorities are also discussed. The consequences of fragmented migration policies are highlighted.
In her discussion with the leaders, she said:
“As a Union, we have a responsibility to remain coherent and united. To do this is not to condone more death and violence but to avoid a dangerous regional escalation of the conflict. We must leave even a sliver of possibility that peace can ultimately be found.
The European Parliament has condemned Hamas in the strongest possible terms. We know that Hamas must be stopped.
As a Parliament we have always and will always keep insisting on respect for international law, that the humanitarian consequences of stopping Hamas must be a priority and that aid must be able to reach the innocent people in need.
Taking a strong stance against terror and making every effort to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza are not mutually exclusive.
That is why we keep doing everything that we can to protect innocent lives. Why we work to free hostages and get aid across and why the European Parliament has called for a humanitarian pause to achieve that.
In the longer term, Europe should stand ready and willing to engage. We must continue to push for sustainable and lasting peace. For a fair two-state solution that is equitable and just. There is a role for Europe and we have a duty to meet this moment”.
“Our support will continue in humanitarian, logistical, military, re-construction and political terms.
Provided that the conditions are met, I remain hopeful that agreement to open accession talks between the EU and Ukraine, and with Moldova using the same yardstick, can be achieved by the end of this year.
Giving our European neighbours a clear European perspective is achieving its intended purpose. But while Ukraine, Moldova and the Western Balkans are reforming and getting ready for the next steps – Europe also needs to be getting ready to do the same. This is becoming critical.
We also need to keep supporting Ukraine’s recovery, reconstruction and modernisation”.
On Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF):
“The EU’s budget is stretched to the limit.
We have to make sure our priorities are adequately funded. We all agree on the need to address security and migration, to continue supporting Ukraine, to invest more money in Member States struck by natural disasters, quickly and effectively.
We need to back our words up with the necessary financial resources to implement them – more progress needs to be made on the introduction of new Own Resources that we already agreed on back in 2020.
The budget is the minimum needed to provide funding to the people of Europe – our farmers, students, businesses and regions – that want to invest, innovate, modernise and develop a Europe that is competitive on the global stage.
If we want to remain credible about all that we say we want to do, we need an agreement. Postponing will not help.”
“Recent events and the increase in arrivals of asylum seekers have once again demonstrated the consequences of our current fragmented policy on asylum and migration.
Making returns more effective through faster processing of asylum applications, improving the modalities for returns and closer operational coordination and cooperation among Member States, third countries, EU institutions and agencies should be at the top of our discussions.
Loopholes between a negative asylum decision and a return decision need to be closed.
People will look to us to deliver on all these issues before they vote next June”.
You can find the full speech of President Metsola here.